Are you planning to head out bush for an off-road expedition and some camping? Do you intend to use roads less travelled in your caravan? If so, you need to prepare your off-road caravan properly for the trip. Please keep reading below to learn some must-do preparation tips you need to follow.
The benefit of having an off-road caravan is the ability to venture into the unknown. You’re not restricted to graded roads. However, you can only truly explore the great outdoors if the chassis and frame are in peak condition. If your caravan has a steel chassis, ensure it does not have any rust. The same case applies to the A-Frame. Inspect the chassis and frame to ensure it will withstand the rigours of caravanning off-road.
It’s also important to inspect the suspension system. Inspect the shock absorbers and springs and ensure they’re in good nick. The suspension system not only helps make bumps smoother but also helps to maintain the appropriate ground clearance. Ground clearance is essential in preventing underbody damage while using your caravan in off-road environments.
As part of preparing your caravan, you need to schedule professional service for the actual towing vehicle. A professional service will make sure all the necessary parts are maintained and repaired before you embark on your expedition. Some of the main checks, maintenance, and repairs include:
While these mechanical checks might seem mundane, they are nonetheless essential. The last thing you want is to get stuck in the middle of the outback just because your engine oil level is down or your vehicle does not have enough coolant to keep the engine running.
In the same light, you should pack some spare coolants, oils, and spare parts. For instance, you can pack engine oil, brake fluid, transmission oil, coolants, coolant hoses and clamps, belts, and other critical parts whose breakdown might bring your trip to a screeching halt.
Batteries in your caravan provide the power necessary for lighting and powering electronics that plug into 12V sockets. You should inspect and test the entire power and battery system to ensure they work well with no faults. Additionally, if you’ve installed a solar power system or a generator to charge your battery, test those systems also.
As for the battery, you should check the battery electrolyte levels if you use a wet battery. Clean the terminals and ensure they stay dust free. Finally, check the battery terminal tightness.
For anyone intending to go off-road and get closer to nature, you must have spare tyres. Ensure your tyres are in good condition. Additionally, buy a tyre repair kit if you do not have one. Buy some spare tyre tubes even if your caravan uses tubeless tyres. The spare tubes might be the only way to repair a flat tyre while off-roading. Your breakdown kit should also have supplies to repair some minor repairs to the caravan, such as broken windows.
While deep in the outback, your phone is basically useless. You don’t have reliable access to phone reception unless you come across major settlements such as community locations and mining towns. You must install alternative communication tech in your caravan that can work in the remote outback should you need to make emergency contact.
One of the best choices for remote communications is a satellite phone. Ensure you install the sat phone somewhere accessible in case of an emergency. Alternatively, you can use one or more emergency contact devices and systems, including the EPIRB emergency beacon, Spot Tracker, or HF radio.
The best way to ensure you do not run into major problems is to ensure your caravan is mechanically sound before setting out on your expedition. Look into all the things discussed above to get your journey off to a great start.
If you are thinking about purchasing an off-road caravan for your next adventure, a Retreat Caravan gives you the confidence you need when travelling off-road and in remote areas far from home. Please check out our full range of caravans below, all carefully designed with you in mind: